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Dynamic hierarchical cognition: Music and language demand further types of abstracta

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2020

Tudor Popescu
Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, 1090Vienna, Austria.
W. Tecumseh Fitch
Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, 1090Vienna, Austria.


Hierarchical structures are rapidly and flexibly built up in the domains of human language and music. These domains require a tree-building capacity – “dendrophilia” – to dynamically infer hierarchical structures from sensory input (or to hierarchically structure output), based on subunits stored in a lexicon. This dynamic process involves a crucial class of abstracta overlooked in the target article.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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